‘The Enchanted Island’ is an opera of pastiche

Pac.mercyhurst.edu photo: ‘The Enchanted Island’ is a world premiere event conceived and performed by the Metropolitan Opera.Pac.mercyhurst.edu photo: ‘The Enchanted Island’ is a world premiere event conceived and performed by the Metropolitan Opera.“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” collides with “The Tempest,” and together they live in a world of baroque music.

That is the premise for the Metropolitan Opera’s world premiere event, “The Enchanted Island.”

This Saturday, Jan. 21, at 1 p.m., the Met is scheduled to simulcast “The Enchanted Island,” a work devised by Peter Gelb and written by Jeremy Sams.

This work is called a pastiche. Essentially, a new work is created out of smaller, already existing works.

The work showcases arias and ensembles by Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau and a new libretto by Jeremy Sams.

This particular production consists of a mix of characters and settings. Featured are the four lovers from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” on Prospero’s Island from “The Tempest.”

Also included is Neptune, a popular figure from Roman mythology.

The music in the opera is a combination of works primarily written by baroque composers G.F. Handel, Antonio Vivaldi and Jean-Philippe Rameau.

This work features distinguished conductor William Christie and a paramount cast, including Joyce DiDonato, Placido Domingo and David Daniels.

The production is directed and designed by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch.

The opera starts in another realm, where Prospero is exiled with his daughter Miranda.

The lovers from Shakespeare’s famous play are coincidentally shipwrecked on the same island.

When the sprite Ariel starts to play the role of “Puck,” mix-ups reminiscent of “Midsummer” start to occur.

Sycorax the evil sorceress and her son Caliban thicken the plot, along with Neptune, the sea god.

Since this is a new operatic creation, and many of these roles were created especially for the performers, experimenting is still taking place.

When talking to the New York Times, Joyce DiDonato explained, “This idea of making it up as we go along is typical of the pastiche process.”

The New York Times also refers to this musical as a “Franken-Opera,” formed from bits and pieces of other operas, though they do argue that they are extremely high quality bits and pieces.

“The Enchanted Island” will simulcast on Saturday, Jan. 21, at 1 p.m. in the PAC.

Tickets are $15 for students with a Mercyhurst ID.